To bring you the perfect spa guide, we have divided our guide into sections, with each section focusing on a unique aspect of spa experiences. Each type of spa experience described offers women a number of pros and cons and a multitude of options to choose from. Each and every selection that you make is ultimately going to affect your skin and your overall beauty. Therefore, it is essential for you to understand the various pros and cons as well as the different types of processes available for each type of beauty and skin care treatment.
Our first guide focuses on facials. Simply put, facials are beauty treatments that help to enhance and beautify your face. A facial is just one of those steps that helps you to maintain a clear and healthy skin, but it is also known to be extremely relaxing and a great way of pampering yourself. The process consists of cleansing and exfoliating your skin and then extracting the blackheads and whiteheads which are famous for clogging your pores. More often than not, facials are also known to be altered according to the recipient’s skin type and requirements to ensure that it caters to specific needs and individual requirements. So, if you’re still searching for the right facial or are new in the world of facials, this guide should help you understand the various facial solutions available and figure out the ones that suits you the best.
What is a facial good for?
The answer to this question largely depends on the type of facial being chosen by you. In most cases, the names and the descriptions are more than enough to get a general perspective of how they can help beautify your face. Some of the most common solutions offered by facials include –
- Cleansing and smoothing your skin by removing the dead skin cells and cleaning the pores.
- Hydrating your skin with the help of serums, facial oils and moisturizers.
- Targeting specific skin concerns using toning techniques and healing products.
Almost all types of facials can help you make your skin look better, fresher and firmer, and also leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. However, the secret lies in knowing which facial works the best for your specific needs and preferences.
What to expect
The main goal of a facial is to relax your senses and rejuvenate your face. Different facials follow different procedures, but there are a few processes that are common to all.
- Preparing for the facial – The therapist shall remove your makeup, allow you to relax in a reclining chair and will usually cover your hairline with a protective band.
- Application of skin care products – The next step involves the application of skin care products to your skin. The therapist might use a spatula or a brush to apply products and then use her hands to massage different types of facial oils and cleansing creams on your face. These products are then removed using a warm cloth or towel.
- Massaging your face – All sorts of facials involve one form of facial massage or the another. This massage is usually known to extend to your neck, arms, hands as well as shoulders. The massage acts as a form of acupressure or lymphatic drainage and helps to stimulate your facial muscles and decrease puffiness.
- Using a variety of equipment – Some facials rely on potions and lotions and the massaging skills of a therapist. Others are known to rely on machines for a deeper exfoliation, to boost circulation or push serums into your skin.
- Duration – A full facial ranges between 60 – 90 minutes. Express facials last for approximately 30 minutes, but they do not involve any special techniques or equipment.
Which facial to book?
Choosing the right facial from the menu can a daunting task. Almost all options look extremely appealing and each facial promises to offer a range of benefits to your skin. There are facials which help with anti-aging, facials that assist in hydration and facials which cater to specific needs. Moreover, all facials will nourish your skin, bring about a youthful complexion and leave you with a brighter and younger looking skin. Therefore, in order to understand which facial to book, you need to understand the subtle differences between the different types of facials and choose the one that suits your skin the best.
Types of facials
There are 5 major types of facials to choose from –
A face mask, also known as a facial mask, treats particular skin types and conditions using a clay, gel or cream face pack that rests on your face for about 15 – 20 minutes before it is rinsed off. It normally takes place after cleansing, exfoliation, extractions and massage. The type of face mask being used is mainly determined by your skin condition. For example, if your skin is oily, the face mask helps to draw out impurities from your skin. Similarly, if you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, the mask helps to hydrate your skin. Most face masks contain a variety of ingredients such as massage oils, vitamins, aloe vera, essential oils, herbs, clay, seaweed and algae. Once the mask is removed, the aesthetician completes the process by applying toners, serums, moisturizers, eye creams and lip balm.
Types of Facial Masks
There are four main types of facial masks to choose from –
- Clay masks are known to draw out the dirt and oil from your skin.
- Cream masks are known to hydrate and nourish your skin.
- Gel masks are quite similar to cream masks and they are also used to hydrate and nourish your skin.
- Setting masks are cool and refreshing. They harden into a rubbery form on your face and need to be peeled off at the end.
The benefits offered by facial masks depend on the type of mask being used. However, you can still expect them to moisturize, tighten, firm and deep clean your face. Some of the main benefits offered by face masks include –
- Hydrating the skin
- Nourishing the skin
- Toning the skin
- Drawing out impurities from your skin
- Rejuvenating the skin
- Helping the blemishes to heal
Using Facial Masks
Using a facial mask is beneficial for people with all skin types. All you need to understand is which one is the best for your particular requirements.
Chemical peels are an exfoliation method that can help in treating a number of conditions such as fine lines, wrinkles, dull and aging skin and pigmentation. These peels are known to be highly acidic and they can easily loosen and eradicate your dead skin cells, thereby allowing the healthy skin to rise to the surface. Chemical peels come with different depths – superficial, moderate and deep. The depth of a chemical peel is usually determined by the strength of the peel, the duration it stays on your skin and its acidic content. Lighter peels (superficial chemical peels) are useful in exfoliating the outer layers of your skin. On the other hand, the heavier ones (moderate and deep chemical peels) enter the inner layers of the skin known as the dermis. These peels involve more risk and require more healing time as well. Chemical peels that are found in spas are classified as superficial peels because aestheticians can only work with the epidermis layer of your skin. The medium and deep chemical peels are applied at a plastic surgeon’s office and it might take about one week or 10 days for the new skin to form.
The benefits of using chemical peels are pretty straightforward. Their biggest advantage is that they help to reduce and eliminate wrinkles from your forehead, mouth and forehead. They can also alleviate acne scarring and even out your coloring if you’re suffering from skin conditions, age spots or freckling. Other advantages offered by chemical peels include –
- Improving the tone and texture of your skin
- Making your skin look brighter, softer and smoother
- Unclogging your pores and undoing the damage caused by the sun
Using Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are known to be most suitable for women with thin and fair skin. However, this does not mean that they might not benefit those with darker tones. A chemical peel therapy is usually done in sets of four or six, with each therapy being a week or two apart from the other.
- Pre-care – It is important to arrive with a clean face and without any sort of makeup, perfume, aftershave or moisturizer on the day of your treatment. Make sure that you cleanse your face with antiseptic soap one day before your treatment as well. You might also be offered with a set of specific instructions depending on the type of procedure being chosen by you.
- Post Care – After undergoing the treatment process, you are likely to receive some aftercare instructions. Generally, these instructions are quite similar to what you would expect when you have a severe sunburn. You are likely to be advised to stay out of the sun for a few days until your skin has healed properly. Those with a history of cold sores require some level of reactivation. Doctors are known to prescribe special ointments, creams and gels for all such people.
Despite their obvious advantages, you should make sure that completely avoid the Chemical Peel process if –
- You are currently using birth control pills
- You have a family history of Hyperpigmentation
- You have Herpes.
Microdermabrasion, also known as Microderm, is a skincare technique that is performed by extremely skilled aestheticians. It is used to help in exfoliating the top layer of your skin with the help of a handheld device. Microdermabrasion is considered to be one of the most effective anti-aging treatments and is also known to offer a range of benefits that can leave you with softer, younger looking and healthier skin. Furthermore, the Microdermabrasion process makes it easier for skin care products to penetrate into your skin and also assist in building collagen, which allows you to give your skin a youthful appearance.
One of the biggest benefits offered by Microdermabrasion is that it helps in stimulating the production of collagen in your skin. It also softens those wrinkles and fine lines, assists in anti-aging, smoothens your skin and decreases your pore size and age spots. The process can bring about dramatic results, but most of these results are dependent on the skills of your aesthetician. For best results, you need to get into a series of 4 – 6 treatments that are given at intervals of 10 – 14 days.
Microdermabrasion is considered to be an excellent skin care treatment for those suffering from clogged pores, uneven skin and raised acne scars. It uses a crystal Microdermabrasion device which consists of a compressor that draws in the air using a handheld wand. Once this wand touches the skin, it creates a vacuum. The next step is to blast aluminium oxide crystals across the surface and pick up dead cells along the way. The blasted crystals and the dead skin cells are sucked up with the help of another tube in the same wand. You should understand that this process can be extremely uncomfortable, particularly around your nose and mouth. That being said, the process is not known to be painful.
It is also important for you to understand that the Microdermabrasion process has essentially taken off the outermost layer of your skin. This layer is generally called the protective layer of your skin. As a result, you need to be careful with your skin for a few days. Things like going out to the beach, doing rigorous exercise or exposing your skin to the sun are strictly forbidden. You must also ensure that you wear a light sunscreen at all times.
Those suffering from the following problems should avoid the Microdermabrasion process at all costs –
- You are suffering from viral infections such as Herpes
- You are suffering from diabetes
- You had a Botox treatment within the last 72 hours
- You have vascular conditions such as skin inflammation or Rosacea
- You have Lupus or Psoriasis
- There are cuts or abrasions on the surface of your skin
- You are taking anti-coagulant drugs
- Always ensure that the esthetician in charge of the Microdermabrasion process is skilled. Remember, the results depend on how skilled the esthetician is.
- Always wear sunscreen after your treatment (even on cloudy days) and stay out of the sun for as long as possible.
A galvanic facial is a technique that involves the use of mild electric currents that consist of positive and negative ions. It helps to stimulate, refresh and rejuvenate your skin. Simply put, a galvanic facial electrically transports charged particles into your skin with the help of gels. These charged particles are carried into the deeper layers of your skin and are allowed to concentrate there.
A galvanic facial can help you to tighten your skin and reduce wrinkles. It is also considered to be a non surgical facelift and can assist you with things such as nourishing skin cells and increasing blood circulation as well. These facials are known to be highly effective for those suffering from acne prone or oily skin.
Using Galvanic Facials
A galvanic facial can help you to unclog your pores and increase the effectiveness of your regular skin care routines. The facial takes approximately one hour to complete. It uses a special pre-treatment gel. This gel is applied to your skin to help cleanse the pores. Once the pre-treatment gel is removed using a washcloth, a second gel is applied to the skin. This process of applying this second gel is called iontophoresis. The aesthetician then uses a galvanic messenger that has a chrome base to conduct the galvanic current directly onto the skin. The current uses a mix of positive and negative ions to redistribute and rebalance energy all throughout your skin.
Make sure that you avoid Galvanic facials if you suffer from one of the following conditions –
- You have suffered from a heart bypass or seizures or have a pacemaker installed.
- You have metal implants in your body
- You are pregnant
LED Skin Therapy is known to be a painless skin care treatment that helps with anti-aging by boosting the production of collagen and treating acne. It is essentially a light emitting therapy that penetrates the layers of your skin. The nature of the therapy (acne or anti-aging) depends on the color of the light being emitted. Professional LED treatments can be found in selective day spas that focus on skin care therapies. It is always recommended to get a package of 6 LED treatments at intervals of 1 – 2 weeks, followed by a maintenance treatment once in every 2 months for the best results.
LED Skin Therapy uses two types of light therapies – the Blue Light Therapy helps to kill the acne causing bacteria present in the skin and the Red Light Therapy helps to improve the barrier function of your skin, which in turns improves its collagen production.
Using LED Skin Therapy
LED Skin Therapy is most beneficial for those who have a mild acne or minor signs of aging. The therapy uses LED devices that do not use heat or cut into your skin. Instead, it uses devices that emit low level light and cause a photochemical response in your skin to activate your cell metabolisms. The targeted response can include stopping cells that produce pigmentation spots on your skin, reducing inflammation, increasing the production of collagen or healing wounds.
Those suffering from the following problems should avoid LED Skin Therapies at all costs –
- Bipolar disorder
- You are on certain medications
You might also develop mild side effects after an LED Skin Therapy session. Some of the most common side effects of LED Skin Therapies are –
- Dry Mouth
Please consult with a professional before undergoing any sort of facial treatments.